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|Index||152 reviews in total|
Too laid out to be mysterious, not gripping enough for a thriller, not
compelling for a drama but not bad to be ignored. Depends too much on
the atmosphere it has set and the characters tend to be tad too
predictable but keep on trying to act mysterious. Though beautifully
acted, well developed characters and the screenplay for what its worth
holds together, I didn't really seem to care what happens in the end.
Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) drives 3 of his friends to an accident on their prom night ending his short but a successful stint in hockey. He suffers from memory loss after the accident and cannot even remember his day-to-day activities. The story is set 4 years after the accident and now he is attending life skills classes that helps people similar to him, labels and maintains a notepad to remember his daily activities, living with a blind partner Lewis (Jeff Daniels) and works as a janitor in a bank at night. While frustrated with his hopeless life and controlling family, his life starts to look ahead when a stranger Gary (Matthew Goode) gives him an offer to rob the bank he works in (but first seduces him with Luvlee (Isla Fisher)).
The protagonist's condition is not well thought out and is used wherever convenient, some characters are just cut out from the movie abruptly like the co-survivor of the accident Janet (Carla Gugino) or Isla Fisher during the later part of the movie. The way the climax is set up, there is nothing that leaves you to guess - only surprise is that you keep thinking 'thats not gonna happen, it would be too predictable'. Acting and some character development is top notch and the runtime has nothing to complain about. If an attempt is to be very realistic (which is to most extent), it should also be tightly scripted. Otherwise it is just plain awkward.
Interesting characters, well acted but forgettable.
As much as I wanted to like this film, once I watched it, I was quite disappointed. The premise of how a teenager suffering from brain trauma inflicted because of his own unaware rashness tries to redeem himself makes for a quite an interesting premise for a story. In this film, Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and three others collide head-on into a truck leaving his friends dead, girlfriend injured and him brain-damaged. So then follows the aftermath of this life altering accident. The film begins when Chris is shown to be living in an apartment with a much older blind man, Lewis (Jeff Daniels) and attending special classes that aid him to get his sensory and motor skills back to normal. He also works as a janitor at a local cooperative bank at night. Unable to perform daily tasks normally or think through clearly, Chris manages to stay sane and hope for the better. Until Gary arrives on the scene. Low on self -confidence with handicapped social skills, Chris immediately takes to Gary and his friends because they seem to accept him with ease. It doesn't take much to realize the true intentions of Gary. We just wait for it to unfold. It does but in quite a predictable manner. Chris works at a bank that Gary and company would be robbing obviously with his help. What is Chris' role and how he help them forms the remainder of the plot. No questions are too hard to answer and we very well know what will eventually happen. What irked me was the questions that kept popping in my head. How come there isn't any security guard at the bank. There seems to just one police officer on patrol who drops in to check on Chris. How come the bank is all glass-doored with the safe staring right out into the open? What about Chris' very wealthy family? Why isn't he with them? Why the hostility shown by the parents and Chris? The plot wouldn't have been the same then if these were answered. These holes kept rankling in my head through Gary's plan and Chris' actions leading to the climax that was just waiting to be run through before the finale. I knew it beforehand. The End. Gordon-Levitt is an actor who can externalize his angst and pain of the past very poignantly. I've watched few other films of his (Brick, Mysterious Skin apart from 3rd rock....) and he is indeed very talented. Supporting cast do fill up the blanks but yet are not sufficient to overcome the gaping holes in the story. That, was a letdown for me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was an interesting sleeper hit which got some rave reviews on here. A lot of people said this was more of a thinking person's movie and not a "popcorn" flick although there are some action sequences later on for those deprived. While this was a well thought out idea, the film took a long time to get going, after 40 minutes, i was saying, "yeh he's got a brain injury, some of his functions are limited, what else!" The movie desperately needed some sub-plots to keep it moving. No complaints with the cast, Matthew Goode was a chilling villain and did a great Midwestern accent for an English guy and its always a pleasure to see the very delectable Mrs borat in any film while Jeff Daniels stole the show as the blind best mate. As well as the movie only plodding along for the first hour, for me there were other plot holes like why Chris would have been allowed to drive, he strange role his family played in this as they were both cold and compassionate at the same time and why he would have the role he did in the bank heist amongst other things. The ending also disappointed as he really should have been charged in some way for being complicit in the bank raid and while I'm very much an anti Hollywood happy ending person, there should have been something else happening, I'm not sure what but it all ended on an anti-climax for me. These faults aside, its still a good movie and it would be interesting to see what the writer/director would do with a bigger budget and if he just concentrated on directing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A wholly original but at the same time familiar film, THE LOOKOUT
has that bank heist noir feel with a human twist.
I started searching out Scott Frank films (writer and director of The Lookout) after watching GET SHORTY many years back. His snappy dialogue and unique look at 'fish-out-of-water' characters caught my attention and I've been pleased with his most, if not all, of his work.
Add to this film the talents of relative newcomer Joseph Gordon-Levitt (BRICK) and veteran Jeff Daniels (GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK) and I was intrigued ...to say the least.
The familiar element is the bank heist reminiscent of THE SQUEEZE (1978) with Lee Van Cleef. The unfamiliar comes from Chris Pratt played by the aforementioned Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He's damaged goods. Not just mentally but physically. Involved in a car crash that killed several friends, injured another, and left Chris with a traumatic brain injury, the audience is left to ponder what would have become of an all-star athlete who now has serious lapses in memory and can only hold down a janitorial job at a local bank.
Living with another handicapped man named Lewis (Jeff Daniels), the two are an odd, disabled pair. Lewis helps keep Chris on-track with his brain-injured therapy, while Chris plods along trying to make sense of the changes in his life that aren't really changes at all ...just problems with memory. His frustrations are palpable, including his problems he has with his father who doles out guilt money only as he sees fit.
Into the picture comes a group of bank robbers with their eyes on Chris. Included in the group is a lovely young lady named ...well ...Luvlee (Isla Fisher). Gaining Chris' trust (and sexual advances) Luvlee soon reveals her true nature. Handing Chris into the deadly hands of her cohort Gary (Matthew Goode, MATCH POINT), Chris finds himself at the center of the heist at the bank where he works and stuck without a way out. Or does he have one? The fact that the audience is left guessing as to the depth of Chris' brain damage is a nice ending. How much he actually knows of what he's doing and why is an unusual turn on a familiar film road. The weaving in and out of the night of Chris' deadly car crash with his current no-win situation is pulled off exceptionally well and had me glued to my seat. And Jeff Daniels' masterful portrayal of a blind man with a set of chops also added immensely to the film's success. And Luvlee is pretty nice to look at, too (wink!).
A good heist film that has helped relaunch the genre in a new direction ...far removed from things like the OCEAN'S films.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Lookout tells the story of an ex hockey athlete (Joseph Gordon-
Levitt) who had a great life leading up until a tragic accident in
which him, his girlfriend (at the time) and a couple of friends crashed
into a combined on the side of the road. Fast forward 4 years later and
we still that Chris has brain damage and is slightly handicapped (he
makes notes of what to do each day by writing in his notepad- Memento
influence). We also noticed that he now lives with a blind older man
Lewis (Jeff Daniels) in which is discussed on why later in the film.
The Lookout is a very fascination film in which plays more of a character study than its typical heist film. The first half of the film we really get to know Chris, as we see what he does (works as a janitor at a local bank), where he lives and how he faces his problems surrounding him. The first 40 or so minutes of the film takes us on his journey as we see Chris get more nervous as we see him introduced by Gary (Matthetw Goode). He meets him at his local bar in which he happened to know Chris years ago along with his sister (we aren't sure whether or not he is lying but as the film goes along we get more clues). Around 42:40 we see Chris stumble in the basement of his friends's house in which we see Gary, along with his three other friends. Chris spots pictures on the wall then notices that Gary has a few photos of the bank where Chris works at. Chris getting nervous asks a strew of questions, and around this point in the film is where the film gets its faster pace and we finally see that Gary is not the guy Chris was lead to believe. I found it predictable in which Gary was simply using Chris for the sake of robing the bank. It was clear from the first moment in which they start talking that Gary wanted something out of him (in which he also sets him up with one on his friends a dancer/stripper Luvely- played by Isla Fisher). At this point the havoc starts and the films takes a turn for the better because we are now seeing Chris panic and wondering how and what he will do in this situation.
Following the plan, Chris of course decides to take note on the heist and allows to take orders from Gary. Right an hour into the film we see Chris standing outside looking for the truck in which has its stash of money. We then see him call Gary and the heist plans then takes notice. Around 10-12 minutes later we see that the plan is in action as they are inside the bank and Chris has taken advantage of stealing the cash. Few scenes later, the cop whom stops by the bank to see if everything is okay, returns unexpectedly and notices that something is up when he is shouting Chris' name but he doesn't show up. Later on he notices something out of place and spots Chris' reflection in the back so as he is walking away, drops his donut box, then Gary and his crew pop out from behind the walls and start shooting. Of course since he saw, they decided to kill him which was of course to happen. The violence in this scene was very quick and to its point. Afterwards Chris is in more panic as he flees from the scene stealing their car and heads away. Having the bags of money in the truck of the car, Gary decides to take a visit at Chris' house where he sees Lewis. Chris then calls the house, Lewis picks up and Chris notes that Gary and his crew are there. They wanted the cash so Chris decides to take matters in his own hands by settling a meeting time and location. Upon doing so, we see that he visits his father's house late at night (his father or mother don't notice) and stashes a shotgun inside one of the bags of money.
Finally towards the ending in its final last few scenes, Chris having made the phone call to Gary telling him where to meet up, they eventually do meet (Chris having the bags of money, Gary having Lewis hostage) then the havoc starts. As Chris is taking out the bags of money from his truck, Bones- Gary's crew member is watching him with his shotgun in hand. He then throws him one of the sack for him to stash away in Gary's car. While this is happening, he takes Lewis out the car and puts him on the ground facing full forward having the shotgun right in his face (Lewis being blind does not know what exactly is happening). As Bones is about to shoot, Chris takes the other bag of money and takes fire of the shotgun (the gun is still inside the bag but he has his grip, and feels where the trigger is) shooting Bones right in the face killing him. We then see Gary lying down in pain (from getting shot by the cop at the heist scene), and see Chris approach him as he is lying there helpless. He kicks away his inhaler then the scene briefly ends. We don't see whether he kills him but we are lead to believe he does.
Fast forward again, and we see Chris speaking in tone about what happened. "Once upon a time, I woke up, and I robbed the Noel town bank". Then we see that he confessed to being apart of the heist and his punish was given. As continuing telling his tale, we note that his restaurant with Lewis is doing well and he still has plans on skating. The performances were all brilliantly done, as JGL delivers one of his best performances.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A very Memento like movie, without the extremes of tattooing everything
on your body to remember. However, we know what our main character has
in the beginning of the film. He lives with a blind roommate and goes
to school every day. A school that teaches him to live a functional
life after his car accident, a car accident that left him with some
pretty debilitating head trauma.
He then emerges from his isolated life when he's approached by Gary, who asks him to do some pretty big and illegal. The movie follows our main character as he tries to make vital decisions about his future.
I adore Joesph Gordon Levitt, he looks surprisingly like Heath Ledger. Either way, he's a wonderful and diverse actor, who makes excellent movie choices such as Inception, Brick, and 500 Days of Summer. And this just another one of those good and interesting movies.
It's not too emotionally draining and it has the right amount of suspense and a likable main character. I recommend this movie for those who like an interesting person with unique memory issues.
This is a watchable, if somewhat transparent and slow moving character
study/crime film. Trouble is, it has too little study and not enough
crime. The problem, it never really seems totally interested in either.
It is engaging enough but never fully fits into a believable and involved story of a handicapped person persuaded, or otherwise, to participate in a bank heist and predictably turns the tables on his gang of no-goods.
There are interesting moments and the cast is up to the task but the pacing is erratic and it all seems rather neatly put together rather than coming together. A good effort but lacks a soul, a deep feeling of empathy and rage (like when they kidnap his only friend), it all seems to be surface with nothing underneath. The ending is also a little too neat and has a fairy tale feel to it that belies the tone of the rest of the film.
This movie is quite a surprise. I read a brief synopsis of the movie and was expecting something different but actually was pleasantly surprised by the plot twists and turns, the depth of the characters and the overall tone of the film. I would recommend this movie to all who go to movies to be truly entertained but also that require a little thought instead of mindless dialog, overblown action scenes, and pointless sexual content. All in all the acting is excellent and I think Jeff Daniels is becoming one of our premiere character actors. I really enjoyed him with Clint Eastwood in "BlloodWork". I also think Joseph Gordon Levitt is highly underrated as an actor. Carla Gugino gives her usually knock out performance--I have a 'girl crush' on her. I think all the actors did a really great job with their roles.
Chris "Slap Shot" Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was a high school
student / star hockey player four years ago. Then a horrific traffic
accident changed everything, and now he's a night janitor at a bank
struggling through rehabilitation, having suffered substantial brain
damage. He rooms with a blind man, Lewis (Jeff Daniels) who's a bit of
a wise ass. Chris is at a rather low point in his life, so he makes
easy prey for a no-good named Gary (Matthew Goode), who plans to rob
the bank at which Chris works.
Potential viewers should be made aware that this isn't really the conventional heist thriller. In fact, screenwriter Scott Frank, making his directorial debut, treats this portion of the film in a more low key manner than some people may expect. Urgency isn't his focus here; instead, "The Lookout" is much more a character study - and a dark one at that - than heist film. It works as an interesting and intelligent exploration of depression, hopelessness, and frustration, with a main character who is still struggling to come to terms with the path that his life has taken. Frank does deliver some pretty poignant moments (as well as some bleak wintry atmosphere), all made riveting by the sympathetic lead performance by the talented Gordon-Levitt. Yet, he doesn't miss opportunities for humor, many of them originating with Lewis, played charmingly by Daniels. There's also the possibility for romance, as Chris meets a former exotic dancer, "Luvlee" (the radiant Isla Fisher).
Bruce McGill, Alberta Watson, Carla Gugino (who's kind of wasted in a one-scene role), Alex Borstein, the amusing Sergio Di Zio, David Huband, Laura Vandervoort, and Greg Dunham round out a solid supporting cast, but the film basically rests on the capable shoulders of Gordon-Levitt, who earns rooting interest early on and maintains it all the way to the end.
Although set in Kansas, this was actually filmed in the city of Winnipeg (my hometown) and the town of Hartney, in Manitoba, Canada.
Eight out of 10.
During one evening in Kansas City, high school hockey athlete and star
player Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) commits an extremely stupid
act. He drives his car at high speed without using his headlights. Of
course he crashes into a stalled combine on the highway. Where were the
required emergency flashers? Anyway, his action results in the death of
two friends and his girl Kelly (Laura Vandervoort) becoming maimed; he
receives a severe brain injury.
Four years pass, and every day is a struggle for Chris, who is on daily medication. His injury was so serious that he carries a card that reads he is subject to epilepsy seizures, speech difficulties, memory impairness, and visual problems. Also, he has poor balance and cannot use stairs or elevators (although he does use steps at his parents' house without sustaining any repercussions). As he has fewer inhibitions, he blurts out inappropriate comments to his female social worker; thus he is socially awkward. He carries a pen and notepad to remember things. But as he is not completely incapacitated, he is able to operate a motor vehicle (!). But when he does, he often locks his keys inside. How did he get a driver's license? Would he remember the street he is on? Would he remember road signs after he passes them?
Unsupported by his family, Chris has as his only friend blind and sarcastic roommate Lewis (Jeff Daniels), whom he met at the Life Skills Center. As Chris's main impediment is with grasping of a sequence of events, Lewis instructs his roommate to start at the end and work backwards to piece the story together. Lewis and Chris have talked about beginning a sandwich shop business by converting an old gas station.
The only job Chris is able to perform is as a night janitor at the local bank, Noel State Bank and Trust. Chris, by what seems like chance at a local tavern, finally makes new friends, especially Gary Spargo (Mathew Goode). Spargo knows how to manipulate Chris's good graces, specifically by using an ex-stripper named Luvlee Lemons (Isla Fisher) as Chris's sexual need. However, these friends, led by Spargo, are planning a bank robbery at the same bank that employs Chris, and they need someone on the inside. Chris is naïve, and Spargo explains to him in deceptive logic that "Whoever has the money has the power."
The story is so nicely woven and the characters so well-developed that the viewer is engaged until the very end, even though little time is allotted to the heist itself. Gordon-Levitt does well as one who was formerly a local celebrity, but now finds himself frustrated with his own mental shortcomings and the existence into which he has entrapped himself. Daniels as Lewis, with his witticisms and humor, adds to the story. Although blind, he has inordinate insight. One night he point-blankly says to Luvlee as no attractive young woman would want anything to do with Chris "What are you doing here?" He suspects it's not for Chris' welfare. Goode as Spargo is sufficiently ominous and exploitative. His right-hand man, Bone (Greg Dunham), is so frightening and generates so much dread that he has little need to speak. So the atmosphere nicely builds. On the other hand, more than a few will not be sympathetic to Chris. Also, the script leaves plot holes, and several characters disappear before the ending without explanation. By the way, Winnipeg acts as Kansas City. All in all, this drama is carried by the performances and build-up of suspense.
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